Sunday, April 25, 2010

Another Butter Option

Sorry I have not posted in several weeks. Truth is, I'm in a bit of a rut. Just cooking the same foods and doing the same things so there hasn't been much to blog about. Today I am REALLY excited though! I know that I obsess too much about spreadable butter but trying to live without it has made me realize how much we use it.

I finally got around to going to an Indian market this week and I bought Ghee, which is just clarified butter. They sell it in all kinds of sizes so I just bought a small one to try it out. It doesn't last a super long time (expires in about a year) but it does NOT need to be refrigerated, even after being opened. YIPPEE!!

The day after I bought it I tried it on toast. It tasted just like the butter that I used to can myself. Completely edible, even on toast. It does have an extremely low melting point so it tends to turn to liquid even just sitting on my counter in mild temperatures. You can keep it in the fridge which keeps it in a solid state, but it isn't necessary to refrigerate it.

Another option that I think I have already mentioned is the Red Feather canned butter from Australia. It's about the same price and, remarkably, is literally butter spread in a can. I've tried it and it taste great, just like butter spread you would buy from the store. The upside to this product is that is has a very long shelf life (15+ years) BUT, once it is opened, it must be refrigerated. Could be a big problem since the chances of us having to live off food storage and STILL having electricity seem small.

Anyway, I'm super excited about finding Ghee. There's no way I can store a whole year's worth because my family eats so much butter, and Ghee expires in just one year. That means we would have to use it exclusively in order to rotate it and it's far too expensive for that. My 8oz jar was $3.95. I will have to just store enough that we will be able to have butter when we really need it, but still I can't tell you how excited about this I am. If you could see me right now I'm doing the happy dance!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Food Storage Inventory

Many people have asked me for an inventory list of the food that I have in my food storage. I made a PDF document but wasn't sure how to post it here. I think I figured it out and you should be able to access it through this link: Food Storage Inventory or if that doesn't work try this Google Docs one: Food Storage Inventory.

It's just a simplified list of the food items that I store. My actual inventory sheet has a lot more information on it. This is the sheet I use to track my food storage. In addition to what you see on the link above, my original document also has a column that tells me where in the house each item is stored, when it expires, and the cheapest place to by it. At the bottom of the food list, I also have a list of non-food items that I store, or need to store, such as toiletries, cooking supplies, etc.

Just a side note. I store freeze dried meats but there are lots of ways to store meat. All of them have their advantages:

Freeze dried is light weight, lasts for years, and is easy to store. However, it is very expensive, and once you open the can, you need to use the whole thing that day or the next.

Canned meat is ready to eat, tastes good, and stores easily but it is heavy, expires more quickly, and is still relatively expensive.

Canning your own meat tastes best and is probably the cheapest and healthiest option but the glass jars are hard to store, canning meat is time consuming, and it expires after about a year.

If you want to have meat stored, just choose the way that works best for your family.

Anyway, I know that there are lots of terrific programs and websites out there that help you track your food storage. Whatever works for you - use it. The big thing to remember though, is to keep a hard copy. The last thing you want is to not have access to your inventory in the event of a power failure or computer failure; particularly a long term failure.